For the first nine months of 2018, gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the Philippines was $3 billion across all gaming sectors, according to a report published by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR). This is a marked increase over the performance of last year, which only recorded $2.89 billion for the entire year. The GGR for casinos was $2.61 billion, while that of electronic gaming sites, which include bingo, sports betting and electronic games, was almost $390 million.
This is the first time that PAGCOR has released GGR information for the gaming industry since it published details on the fourth quarter of 2017 earlier this year. PAGCOR’s website is absent any data that would allow for comparisons between the periods.
In a statement to news outlet Manila Bulletin, PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo stated, “Our performance this year is better than expected for both the private integrated resorts and the PAGCOR-owned casinos.”
In Manila, the private-sector casino resorts recorded GGR of around $1.955 billion for the first nine months of the year. This sector includes City of Dreams Manila, Resorts World Manila, Okada Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino.
PAGCOR, in addition to regulating the gaming industry in the country, operates a number of state-run casinos. These are simply called “Casino Filipino” and they recorded GGR of $514.07 million during the period. PAGCOR operates eight locations, as well as an additional 34 satellite sites, across the Philippines.
In the third quarter of 2018, aggregate GGR for casinos and electronic gaming sites was $1.003 billion. Casino revenue was around $868.59 million for the period and electronic gaming revenue was approximately $135 million.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had said previously that he wanted PAGCOR to sell of its land-based casinos and only concentrate on regulating the gaming industry. However, he retracted his order later when he realized that the properties were generating a significant profit for the state.
Duterte has developed a general stance of opposition to gambling in the country. He has stated that he won’t authorize new casinos and even halted a new $1.5-billion casino that was being constructed by Landing International in Entertainment City. He also axed a $500-million integrated resort that Galaxy Entertainment planned to build on Boracay Island.